Our aim was to assess the feasibility and safety of laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy in an animate model. After developing the technique in acute animal experiments, laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy was performed in five young domestic pigs. Five trocars were used (2–10 mm, 2–12 mm, 1–11 mm) for video laparoscopic access to the peritoneal cavity. The operations were performed without complication in 62-95 min (mean±SEM, 77±7 min). Each animal tolerated oral feedings on the first postoperative day and subsequently gained 6–11 kg (10±2 kg) in the 4-7-week interval prior to sacrifice. Although there was a significant increase in serum amylase on the first postoperative day, this was associated with a comparable increase in hematocrit, possibly representing hemoconcentration. The weight of the laparoscopically resected pancreatic segment ranged from 16 to 36 g (19±2 g) while that of the pancreatic head at sacrifice was 13-29 g (21±3 g). At the time of sacrifice, there were few intraabdominal adhesions and no evidence of fluid collection or pancreatitis. The staple line across the body of the pancreas was grossly intact in all animals. We conclude that laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy in the porcine model is feasible and safe. It may therefore be possible to perform laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy in humans.
Pancreatectomy Laparoscopic surgery Porcine model
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